How to Get Your Driver’s License Back After Revocation

March 16, 2017
Anna Jankowska, LCPC

By Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC

Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC is a mental health counselor, addiction, and substance abuse counselor with over 17 years of experience and has specialized training and skill in working with individuals, groups and communities to improve mental health outcomes.
NPI number: 1598843526

By Steven R. Roach

DUI Charges in the Illinois Court System

In Illinois courts, the greatest fear for most people facing DUI charges is the question of whether they are going to jail or not. The question as to whether the Illinois Secretary of State revokes their driving privileges is a very close second. A license revocation has a devastating impact on people, often preventing them from working, getting to school, traveling, and fulfilling their responsibilities with their family. At the close of the initial court proceedings, the Judge may impose a sentence of “Court Supervision”, which is a deferred judgment, meaning that there is no conviction, as long as all of the terms are satisfied, and there are no new arrests. The Secretary of State will take no action to revoke a driver’s license when a sentence of Court Supervision is issued. The Judge may also impose a sentence of conviction, conditional discharge, probation, and/or jail. These types of convictions result in the Secretary of State issuing an order “revoking” the driving privileges of the motorist. Upon conviction, the revocations are as follows, 1st Conviction = a minimum 1-year revocation; 2nd Conviction = a minimum 5-year revocation; 3rd Conviction = a minimum 10-year revocation; and 4th Conviction = a lifetime revocation.

There is Hope to Get your Illinois License Back After Revocation

However, motorists should recognize that following a conviction and revocation, all hope is not lost. The Secretary of State has created a driver’s license reinstatement hearing program, which allows individuals seeking to reinstate their driving privileges the opportunity to prove to the Illinois Secretary of State that they were properly classified by their evaluators, received the appropriate treatment from their providers, determine if there is a problematic use of alcohol, have a working knowledge of the effects of alcohol on the mind and body, be aware of the alternatives available to avoid alcohol use,  accept lifestyle changes that can be made, and support programs that should be attended, if necessary. The “paperwork” required to proceed with such a hearing is prepared by a licensed Illinois DUI treatment provider. This documentation must be prepared by a provider well versed in the reinstatement hearing process, because if there are any omissions, contradictions, or inconsistencies in alcohol use histories, symptoms, blood alcohol content levels, or drinking use patterns, the Secretary of State can issue an Order of Denial, and send the person fighting for their driving privileges back to square one.

Preparing for the Illinois Drivers License Reinstatement Hearing

To properly prepare for a reinstatement hearing, one should also seek out a qualified attorney, with extensive knowledge, skill, and experience in reviewing the treatment documentation and preparing their clients for the rapid-fire line of questioning they will be subjected to in the hearing. Typically, I will require that my clients go through a minimum of three to four mock hearings in my office before I can be assured they are ready for the hearing. Considering all of the time, money, effort, and energy my clients put into the reinstatement process, it is my responsibility to ensure that they are properly prepared, with accurate and consistent responses. Just like any area of law, there are tricks to the trade, and knowing how to properly respond to the Secretary of State’s questions, and carefully avoiding their traps, places the client in the best position to achieve driver’s license reinstatement, and be back on the roads!

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  1. Interested getting licence back, mine were recinded by judge for second dui one for drinking in 2006, another for precription drugs in 2011, I’m eligible for reinstatement, but confused on my recinded ordee

  2. Both my fiance and myself have revoked drivers licenses from dui in 2010. He had 2dui convictions and needs a formal hearing while I have one and need an informal hearing mine is more complicated as I’ve had 2 driving permits in the last 5 years and was revoked after pleading guilty due to really bad representation by a public defender and two hired lawyers as the first waived my preliminary and the 2nd was trying to “clean up” his mess keeping me out of prison and not a felon. We both need dui evaluations and the place that did my two previous has closed. And with talking to another provider their focus didn’t seem appropriate. We both do not drive, we are sober in recovery and want to move on with our lives getting our DL back. I was gonna just go thru my process as I’ve done in the past however I don’t know what has been sent to the state, what records they keep, and am afraid that my honesty from the start has kept me from getting a DL back, and the permits are ONLY keeping me in trouble as police officers don’t really know anything about them and pull me over strictly cuz my plates were ran and it comes up revoked, and they arrest me assuming if I am able to drive it will get sorted out however when you don’t have tons of money to buy a lawyer who has connections it seems the law fails me. We would like to get married, be able to get better jobs, to buy a home for his 3 kids and trying to conceive one together. I feel we need help of a professional who really knows the ins and outs of this procedure and dui laws and reinstatement. I was hoping you may be able to help or point us into the right direction as our lives have been on hold or interrupted by “the system” as we know we broke the law but feel they are holding the fact that we are admitting to be in recovery and unrelated things to this crime we paid for already against us. Please let me know if you could be of service. Thank you.

  3. I’m looking to have my license reinstated after a revocation. I had a DUI in 2005 and another in 2006. All paperwork/classes/courses/evaluations/fines have been taken care of years ago. I’ve been using public transportation for years, but have a family now, and I am finishing my 3rd graduate degree. The job that I am being offered will require a license. Please help! Communication through email would be preferable. Thank you.

  4. Hello, I am wanting to get my license back and I’m not sure on what my next step is. I have 2 dui convictions back in year 2000. One in July and one in November. I have paid all of my fines, went through treatment program for 2 years. I have done everything the state has wanted me to do. In year 2007 I believe I went infront of a judge in Springfield they approved me for driver’s permit to go back and forth to work and I had to have that baid blow thing installed in my car for a year and had to have that special insurance for a year as well. After I completed that they took out the device. I continued driving illegally on occasion and ended up getting pulled over again for turning on turn signal too late for the turn I was making and got driving on revoked. I have paid my fines and did my jail time for that incident. I have not driven since that time. I’m on my 4th year of being 100% sober and think it’s time to go for reinstatement of my driver’s license. I’m not sure on what step I need to take to pursue this any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated thank you.

  5. Hi Anna,

    I need your help! It’s been over 13yrs since my last DUI. I’ve been revoked since 2005 for multiple DUI’s. Believe I was eligible for reinstatement back in 2016, could’ve been earlier. I’ve been to Schaumburg DMV twice just to find out the hearing officer left early or was on vacation, extremely frustrating.

    It’s time for me to get serious, as I’ve already paid my dues to society. I’ve done all court ordered recommended steps and now it’s time I really need to focus on priorities, family and my driving privileges. I am married with 2 young children ages 5 and soon to be 7yrs. I need to be able to drop them off to school or pick them up. I’ve been working at the same place since 2006.

    Would you be able to assist? Please email me back with proper steps to take. I am planning to visit Schaumburg DMV this coming Thursday (3/29/18) to get more info.

    Appreciate you help in advance!

  6. Anna can you help?

    I am reaching my 10th year without my DL. Like a lot of others I too finished all my obligations basically right away. I had a hearing in 2016 to ultimately be denied my DL. I did not understand why I was denied if I had done everything asked of me? It is my understanding that unless I take a lawyer to my hearing I will be denied once again, is this true? Unfortunately I can not afford one at this time. I am trying to better my Job situation but cannot, due to the fact that everyone asks for a valid drivers licence. I am Married with 3 kids and honestly don’t know how I’ve made it this far. This has been emotionally draining on my entire family. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do? Any help would be very much appreciated.

  7. I lost my license in 1993 for 3 DUI’s I have not been caught driving for over 10 years I don’t drink anymore and haven’t for over 5 years I am eligible for reinstatement have been for years what’s the cost of rrepresentation

  8. To whom it may concern. I am ready to go forward with the process of clearing the hold or obtaining clearance for my Illinois drivers licence. There is still one issue that I cannot resolve? Will florida grant me a drivers licence? I have been all over the websites, spoke to attorneys and been to the dmv. Nobody gives me a straight forward answer. Some say yes, some say know, some say I would have to go through the same hearing process in florida as in Illinois. Dmv reply with just apply. This process is too strenuous time consuming and expensive to rely on assumption. Please can you find me a answer.

    thank you tom 13 years w/out a drivers licence

  9. Ok I gotten second DUI in 2006. Did all court ordered classes and programs. Case was given supervision. What do I do to reinstate it now. It’s 12 years now.

  10. I got a dui in 2012 but was not convicted due to court super vision being completed I was arrested in 2019 for another dui can you tell me how this will effect my minimum revocation period

  11. I have a revoked dl due to a DUI that I kept driving on so after 5 suspensions I was revoked. I have been sober for 8 years and not driven since I served my year in idoc

  12. I am a good responsible person I got a DUI after having four beers and I have been suffering for 2 years I have kept my nose to the grindstone and have done everything they told me to do and get denied for reinstatement I don’t even drink or do any kind of drug I think this is unjust and it has ruined my life I want out of this and I don’t want to ask Illinois permission anymore

  13. I received a DUI back in 2013. It is my only one. All court stuff was taken care of and case is closed. I had an evaluation right after it happened. Will I need to get an up to date evaluation and what would be my next step? I cannot afford an attorney.

  14. I have a revoked drives licence that’s been a problem for 20 yrs. Well at 60 years old withmany health needs . This could help my mother , wife and myself so many Doctors needs . I served 3 years prison for this . The greedy system has many corruption to navigate I need legal help , remember I live on Disability

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